Northern Ireland have never had that many racing drivers, but twenty-year-old William Buller is certainly one of their best. Heralding from Scarva in Northern Ireland, Buller currently ply’s his trade in the British Formula 3 and the Formula Renault 3.5 series, having also started the season in the European Formula Three Championship before dropping it to focus on the other two series. So just how good is he? Well it seems the bigger the car, the better he gets.
William Buller began his open-wheel career in the Formula BMW Europe series back in 2008 at the tender age of 15, driving for Fortec Motorsports, one of the recognised teams, finishing 12th in the championship. He also made an appearance in the Formula BMW Americas series in the support event for the Canadian Grand Prix driving for the Autotecnica team. He finished fourteenth and ninth in the two races, and also finished ninth in the World Final for the EuroInternational team. He also grabbed one podium finish in the Formula Renault 2.0 Portugal Winter Series that year, and also competed in the UK Winter series too, finishing 5th in both championships. Over the winter of 2008-2009, he raced in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, winning twice and finishing 10th in the championship.
2009 saw him return to the Formula BMW Europe series, and improve with his first pole position and first podium finish, now 16 years old! He also guest stared in the Formula BMW Pacific series, winning the one & only race he competed in! Buller moved on to the British Formula Three Series in 2010, switching from Fortec to Hitech Racing. No wins came his way, but 5 podiums and 111 points saw him finish P8 in the championship. Buller returned to British F3 in 2011 with much more success, winning three races (1 on the road, two others when eligible guest drivers finished ahead of him) and scoring 197 points, enabling him to finish fourth in the final standings, behind Felipe Nasr (currently in GP2), Kevin Magnussen & Carlos Huertas (Both in Formula Renault 3.5).
2012 was a busy year for Will Buller. He raced in the GP3 Series, Formula 3 Euro Series AND the European Formula 3 Championship, all with the British run Carlin outfit. Not many drivers can claim to have won a 14 lap race from P28 on the grid, but a wet-tyre gamble at Silverstone paved the way for an amazing win in the GP3 series. He may have only finished 15th in the championship, but at least he won a race. In the Formula 3 Euro Series, he won twice on route to 5th in the championship. In the European Formula 3 Championship, he had no wins but five podiums, and finished 6th in the final standings. Not a bad year for the Brit, especially having raced in 56 races over three different series, plus two additional Formula 3 races, again with Carlin, in the Masters & Macau events. Busy.
So onto 2013. Now twenty years old, and five years into his single-seater career, Buller returned to the British Formula 3 championship with Fortec Motorsports, and joined the European Formula 3 championship with the ThreeBond with T-Sport team. He currently leads the British series and won the opening race of the Spa weekend, and has four other podiums in the 6 races currently raced! In the European Formula 3 series, he started out with ThreeBond before joining Fortec in this series too, before calling it quits to concentrate on the British Formula 3 championship and… Formula Renault 3.5! Italian outfit Zeta Corse called him up to race for them in the Moscow round and immediately impressed, finishing 5th in his first race. He retained his drive for the Austrian round and finished in the points both times.
So just how good is William Buller? From what I’ve seen of him in recent months in the three different series, he’s very good indeed. To be competitive straight-off in Formula Renault 3.5 is impressive, especially with the strength in depth the series has. The future is bright for this young man, who at only twenty has a long career ahead of him. It wouldn’t surprise me if his performances for Zeta Corse & Fortec Motorsports this year catch the eye of a few Formula 1 teams. Nor would it surprise me if Buller reunites with Fortec Motorsports once again for a full season of Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014! In my opinion, Northern Ireland have a superstar racing driver in the making on their hands!